New Travel Restrictions May Impact Your Permanent Change of Station

Current as of March 30, 2020


The Department of Defense is taking steps to preserve force readiness, limit spread and protect lives during the global outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019. The steps include travel restrictions on domestic and international travel. The stop movement orders apply to all military travel, including permanent change of station and temporary duty travel, exercises, deployments, redeployments and other global force management activities. 

Travel restrictions are in place through May 11, 2020, for domestic travel and for 60 days, starting March 25, for overseas travel.

Below, find answers to the most frequently asked questions about travel. However, because the understanding of COVID-19 is rapidly changing, continue to check our Coronavirus Information for Our Military Community page for updates.

Exceptions to the travel restrictions

Check with your supervisor before traveling. Currently, travel is allowed for:

  • Service members whose TDY ends while the bans are in effect and are returning home
  • Those who were already traveling when the stop order was issued; they may continue on to their destination
  • Service members and their families who must travel for medical treatment
  • Medical providers who must travel to treat military personnel or their families
  • Scheduled deployments/redeployments of U.S. Navy vessels and embarked units that are in transit for 14 days and meet restriction-of-movement requirements for current force health-protection guidance
  • Service members who are retiring or separating from duty while the stop movement order is in place

Exemptions may be granted on a case-by-case basis for travel that is:

  • Essential to the mission
  • Necessary for humanitarian reasons
  • Warranted due to extreme hardship

Here’s what the restrictions may mean for you, and what steps you can take if you are currently preparing for, or currently in the process of, a PCS:

  • You have already departed for your PCS within the continental United States: You may continue to your final destination.
  • You are just about to PCS: Contact your chain of command right away.
  • Your belongings are packed and you have moved out of your residence but your travel is on hold: Contact your chain of command right away to receive information about entitlements, such as lodging, that may apply to you and your situation. The services also have relief societies that may be able to provide some emergency support.
  • The moving company has already picked up your shipment: Contact your shipping office to check the status of your shipment. It may be in storage in your local area, on its way to your destination or in storage there. To find contact information for your Household Goods/Transportation Office, visit the MilitaryINSTALLATIONS website, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. You can search for information by installation, program or service, or by state.
  • You have confirmed that the stop movement order impacts your PCS, but already submitted your movement request to your personal property office:
    • If your shipment does not have a moving company award, it will be put in a hold status pending further guidance — such as the end of the stop movement order or approval from your chain of command to continue.
    • If your shipment does have a moving company award and pack-out or pick-up dates have been scheduled, your moving company will contact you about postponing those dates.
  • Your lease is expiring or you have already sold your home: Contact your chain of command and personal property office. The stop movement order provides flexibility to allow pack-outs and pick-ups to continue and household goods to put into storage locally.
  • You have an appointment coming up at the Vehicle Processing Center:
    • If you don’t know whether the stop movement order applies to you, contact your chain of command.
    • If the stop movement order does not apply to your PCS or your chain of command has approved an exception, keep your Vehicle Processing Center appointment.
  • You have already dropped off your vehicle, but your PCS now has a delay: If you would like to pick up your vehicle, contact the Vehicle Processing Center. Staff can help you make an appointment, retrieve your vehicle and answer questions. For more information on your personal vehicle, visit Move.mil.
  • You have other questions about your personal property shipment:

Want to find the phone number for your installation’s housing office or military and family support center? Find those and more on MilitaryINSTALLATIONS, an online information directory for military installations worldwide. 

For Department of Defense updates for the military community regarding the virus that causes COVID-19